One of the advantages of working for a Tier 1 public university in the U.S. is the access to excellent (and inexpensive) professional development opportunities. I’ve been attending seminars offered by the Human Dimensions of Organizations program at UT Austin[1]. I’m usually skeptical of any self-help seminars or talks but these are led by UT faculty from the Department of Cognitive Psychology and all material is backed by solid field-tested academic research[2].

Anyway, this post is mostly for my reference in transcribing and collating my handwritten[3] notes from the latest seminar I attended, Maximizing Mental Agility led by Dr. Art Markman. So this may be long but here goes:

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  1. I do four of the one-day seminars and I get a certificate. But even as stand-alone programs, they’re excellent. []
  2. As an aside, check out the Two Guys on Your Head podcast on our local NPR station led by one of the HDO professors; its a fun and educational seven-minutes every week. []
  3. Apparently handwritten notes are better for memory retention than ones taken on your laptop (I knew it!). Behaviorally, since you can’t write as fast as the presenter talks, you try to summarize in your head first and write next whereas on your laptop, you’re basically transcribing []